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Place names in the border area with Russia Zane Cekula Rēzekne Higher Education Institution Latvian Geospatial Informatiom Agency, Department of Geodesy.

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Presentation on theme: "Place names in the border area with Russia Zane Cekula Rēzekne Higher Education Institution Latvian Geospatial Informatiom Agency, Department of Geodesy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Place names in the border area with Russia Zane Cekula Rēzekne Higher Education Institution Latvian Geospatial Informatiom Agency, Department of Geodesy and Cartography Tallinn, 18.09.2013.

2 The aim The aim of this report is to characterize the use of place names in the border area with Russia

3 Introduction 1. Selected area 2.Transliteration sistems 3. Transliteration principles 4. Exonym-endonym definitions 5. Arguments for keeping exonyms 6. Fully and partly translated exonyms

4 Introduction When writing foreign place names in Latvian on the maps the general principle is that the form used in country of origin (endonym) should be retained, transliterated if necessary in accordance with officially recognized system of transliteration. In Latvia, as in other countries there are numerous exceptions to this rule, mainly traditional conventional names for countries, major towns and natural features. Somija (Finland) Igaunija (Estonia) Lielbritānija (Great Britain) Krievija (Russia) Baltkrievija (Belarus) Kauņa (Kaunas) Sāmsala (Saaremaa)

5 1. Selected area The selected area is the territory of former Abrene county (Abrenes apriņķis), an administrative district in the Republic of Latvia formed in 1925, with an area of 4292 square kilometers. It was one of the four counties of Latgale in the northeast of Latvia during the interwar period. Abrenes apriņķis Abrene county

6 1. Selected area In 1934 Abrene county (Abrenes apriņķis) included the towns of Balvi, Viļaka and Abrene, and 12 civil parishes (Latvian: pagasts): Baltinavas, Balvu, Bērzpils, Liepnas, Rugāju, Šķilbēnu, Tilžas pagasts and Augšpils, Gauru, Kacēnu, Linavas, Purvmalas pagasts. Now the eastern part of it is a part of Russia as the Pytalovskij Rajon /Pytalovo district of Pskovskaja Oblastj/Pskov Oblast, bordering Latvia.

7 1. Selected area The town of Abrene/Pytalovo and 6 eastern civil parishes (a total area of 1293.6 square kilometers with 35,524 inhabitants) were joined to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1944: Augšpils pagasts (Augšpils/ Vyšgorodok/Vyshgorodok) Gauru pagasts (Gauri/Gavry), Kacēnu pagasts (Kacēni/Kachanovo), Linavas pagasts (Linova/ Linovo), Purvmalas pagasts, until 1925 Bokovas pagasts (Nosova/Nosovo), Upmalas pagasts (Upmala).

8 2.Transliteration systems Romanization of the Russian alphabet is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin alphabet. On the maps produced by the LGIA 2 romanization systems are being used.

9 2.Transliteration systems On the civil maps the GOST 1983 system (GOST 16876-71) is used. For example, Vyšgorodok, Emilovo, Belorusskij, Utroja.The main advantage of this system is the reversibility, although very rarely there can be ambiguities. On the military maps BGN/PCGN 1947 system is used. For example, Vyshgorodok, Yemilovo, Belorusskiy, Utroya.The advantage of the BGN/PCGN system is that it is relatively intuitive for Anglophones to read and pronounce.

10 Contemporary place names of former Abrenes apriņķis [Map viewer Baltic maps:]

11 BGN/PCGN 1947 system In many cases transliterated place names are identical, for instance: Гавры → Gavry Грибули → Gribuli Кира → Kira Линово → Linovo Сергино→ Sergino Скангали → Skangali Скорды → Skordy However, very often transliterated place names are different, for instance: Лжа → Lža/Lzha Ворожа → Voroža/Vorozha Кухва → Kuhva/Kukhva Утроя → Utroja/Utroya Белорусский→ Belorusskij/Belorusskiy Вышгородок→Vyšgorodok/Vyshgorodok Мирный → Mirnyj/Mirnyy Родовое → Rodovoe/Rodovoye

12 4. Transliteration principles Readability. Even if the text is meant for computer processing, it needs to be read easily. Consistency: e.g. all retroflex consonants have the underdot (but not necessarily vice versa). Approximation: the symbol used should remind one of the sound, and of the transliteration scheme used for printing. Economy: use the least possible number of symbols. Ворожа → Voroža/Vorozha Elegance. This will also improve readability. E.g. ja seems better than ya for я. Утроя → Utroja/Utroya Reversability In Russian the number of graphemes is 33. Of these, three are romanized with digraphs (27 šč, 32 ju, 33 ja). They are half- ambiguous, as they may also in some cases represent character combinations š+č,j+u, j+ain Russian (e.g.). Reversibility: 33 – 1.5 / 33 = 95 %. [ docs/econf/E_Conf.101_141_reversibility_statistics.pdf]

13 4. Exonym-endonym definitions The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names recommends following definitions: Endonym: Name of a geographical feature in an official or well-established language occurring in that area where the feature is located. For instance, Rossija, Pytalovo. Exonym: Name used in a specific language for a geographical feature situated outside the area where that language is spoken, and differing in its form from the name used in an official or well- established language of that area where the geographical feature is located. For instance, Krievija, Pietālava.

14 Mr. Peter Jordan has presented the following new definitions of the respective terms: Endonym = the name applied by the local community for a geographical feature conceived to be part of the area, where this community lives, if there is not a smaller community in place that uses a different name. Exonym = the name applied by a community for a geographical feature outside the area, where this community lives and differing in its written form from the respective endonym.

15 Language and official use of names (as highlighted as criteria by the current definitions) are very important criteria, and should be taken into consideration. Nonetheless, I agree with Mr. Peter Jordan that the relation between the (local) community and the geographical feature in question is also an important criterion if we want to show the real situation.

16 In many cases there exist also alternative names, for instance, endonym Pytalovo (the GOST 1983 system and BGN/PCGN 1947 system) has several alternative names: Abrine and Pītuolova in Latgalian, Abrene, Jaunlatgale, Pietālava and Pitalova in Latvian. Under the Russian occupation in World War II some Latvian populated places were renamed, for instance, the city Abrene was officially named Pytalovo, and the village Augšpils (Latgalian Augšpiļs) was officially named Вышгородок→Vyšgorodok/Vyshgorodok.

17 5. Arguments for keeping exonyms With the endonym/exonym divide it is impossible to avoid political aspects. In spite of the fact that the area of Abrene had been joined to Russia almost 60 years ago, Latvian and Latgalian forms of place names still are being used in Latvia. Exonyms should be seen as part of the cultural heritage. They characterize relations between local communities and geographical features, and even can reflect a more correct etymology of the place name, for instance, Pietālava – a land near Tālava (Latgalian Pītuolova, Russian Пыталова/Pytalova). Tālava was a Latgalian county in the northern Vidzeme and northern Latgale region of today's Latvia. Tālava (Latgalian Tuolova) was first mentioned in the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia in 1207 as the Christian county of Tholowa.

18 6. Fully and partly translated names As pointed out by Max Vasmer and Marje Joalaid (Vasmer 1971: 91), there are three principial ways of rendering Balto-Finnic place names into Russian. Firstly, the toponym might be translated. Secondly, the toponym might be partially translated. Thirdly, the toponym might be phonetically adapted. Sometimes the official form of the toponym has even replaced the original, indigenous toponym (historical endonym?), for instance, Kūkova, in Russian Kuhva/Kukhva. As already pointed out by Marje Joalaid (Jolaid …), in many cases “Russian looking names may exhibit some traits indicative of Balto-Finnic settlement”.

19 6. Fully and partly translated names Augšpils Vyšgorodok / Vyshgorodok ‘Upper Castle’ Baltezers / ozero Beloe ‘White Lake’ Gribanovas ezers / ozero Gribanovo in Latvian ezers ‘a lake’ Jaunā Ludonka / Novaja Ludonka ‘new’ Gauru ezers / ozero Gardino

20 Morphological exonyms Pitalova Višgorodoks

21 7. Endonyms /exonym divide within language and variants of a language Endonym/exonym divide exists also within variants of a language, for instance, Baļtinova, Bolvi - endonyms in Latgalian, Baltinava, Balvi - exonyms in Latvian standard language. Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers “Geographical Names Information Regulations” allow double naming in Latvia, and states that an official local name may be used in addition to the official name.

22 Conclusions on maps produced in Latvia the GOST 1983 system is being used more than the BGN/PCGN 1947 system exonyms should be seen as part of the language’s cultural heritage the place name used by the inhabitants of Abrene before the World War II should be used together with the romanized place name standardizing place names according to these principles would result in a growth of the number of alternative names, which should be entered into place names data bases, and used on maps

23 Thank you for your attention!

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